The average menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days, but your cycle time can vary by many days. In order to determine the length of your cycle time, you should begin counting your cycle from the first day of your periods to the start of your next period. Your periods are considered to be irregular if you have a menstrual cycle that lasts for less than 24 days or longer than 28 days. Even if your cycle varies on a month to month basis by over 20 days, it is said that you have irregular periods. Many times it has been observed that after marriage, women experience significant irregularity in the length of their menstrual cycle. The hormonal and emotional change that takes place once a woman gets married is believed to be the most common reason behind irregular periods. Read on to find out the causes of irregular periods after marriage.
Causes of Irregular Periods After Marriage?
Some studies suggest that marriage might have an impact on a woman’s menstrual cycle and aggravate some of the symptoms of menstruation, including headaches and cramps. Let us take a look at some of the possible causes of why you have irregular periods after marriage.
High Levels of Stress
Being newly married is a stressful time in a woman’s life. Studies have shown(1) that emotional stress has a temporary effect on the manner in which your hormones regulate your periods. High levels of emotional stress change the hormones that are responsible for controlling your period. A woman goes through tremendous pressure after marriage, facing a tough time in adjusting to a new life full of new responsibility. Furthermore, the entire process of planning and having a wedding is also quite stressful.
This stress is enough to throw off your menstrual cycle. Once your stress levels go down, you will notice that your period will get back on track.
Disruptions to your Routine
Changes to your daily routine are also going to affect your menstrual cycle. Getting married is not only a stressful period in your life, but it also brings about many changes to your day to day routine that affects your periods. Adjusting to a new schedule, moving a different home, changes in eating patterns, are just some of the changes that you have to usually go through after marriage.(2)
Sudden Changes in Weight
Marriage is also likely to increase the risk of weight gain.(3) Women are highly susceptible to gain weight after marriage as compared to men. There are many theories about why this is believed to be the case. The lack of desire to find a new partner, marital satisfaction, as well as changes in dietary habits are all thought to be the contributing factors behind this.
Significant or rapid weight gain or weight loss are known to cause irregular periods. Several studies have shown that body fat has a direct effect on the amount of estrogen your body produces.(4) Women who have a higher percentage of body fat will produce higher levels of estrogen than women who have less fat. This increase in estrogen level can cause heavy, missed, or irregular periods.
Use of Birth Control
Stopping or starting hormonal birth control can also cause your periods to become irregular. There are certain types of birth control that can even cause you to occasionally miss a period or even stop your periods altogether. Your body tends to adjust within three to six months after starting or stopping any type of hormonal birth control. Your doctor will recommend that you change your present birth control method if you continue to have issues with your periods.
Do keep in mind, though, that it is very much possible to become pregnant if you miss taking a birth control pill or if you have recently stopped taking your birth control or even if you are in between birth control methods. If you suspect pregnancy or if you have missed a period, you should use a home pregnancy test to confirm whether you are pregnant or not.
Pregnancy, of course, is one of the leading causes of missed periods. However, when you are in the early stages of your pregnancy, it might cause some other types of irregularities, such as implantation bleeding and spotting. This may look like a very light period.
If you have been experiencing menstrual irregularities or if you have had unprotected intercourse, then it is a good idea to check for pregnancy. Some of the other signs of pregnancy may include:
- Sore nipples or breasts
- Nausea, what is known as morning sickness even though it might occur at any time of the day
- Mild cramps
Other Causes of Irregular Periods
There are many different causes of irregular periods that are not necessarily connected to marriage, but they can affect any woman. These causes include:
- Thyroid problems
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Certain types of medications
Treatment of Irregular Periods
There are some measures that you can take at home that will help regulate your periods. These include:
- Eating a balanced diet
- Establishing a regular routine
- Managing and reducing your stress levels
- Regularly exercising to maintain a healthy weight
- Taking your birth control as prescribed.
If you find that these measures are not helping and your periods continue to be irregular for the next couple of cycles, then you might have to consult your doctor as you may be in need of medical treatment.
There are many treatment options available for irregular periods if the above home remedies do not help you. Some of the treatment options include:
- Thyroid medication
- Surgery for removing fibroids
- Hormone therapy such as progestin or estrogen
- Metformin for treating insulin resistance and PCOS
- Changing your hormonal birth control to check if that is causing menstrual irregularity
Irregular periods after marriage are a common phenomenon that affects many women. Certain minor lifestyle changes can help resolve the issue of irregular periods that take place after marriage. However, if your periods remain irregular or if you start experiencing some other symptoms, then you should consult your doctor without delay.
- Nagma, S., Kapoor, G., Bharti, R., Batra, A., Batra, A., Aggarwal, A. and Sablok, A., 2015. To evaluate the effect of perceived stress on menstrual function. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR, 9(3), p.QC01.
- Cleveland Clinic. (2019). Abnormal Menstruation (Periods) | Cleveland Clinic. [online] Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14633-abnormal-menstruation-periods [Accessed 16 Jun. 2019].
- Dinour, L., Leung, M.M., Tripicchio, G., Khan, S. and Yeh, M.C., 2012. The association between marital transitions, body mass index, and weight: a review of the literature. Journal of obesity, 2012.
- Ko, K.M., Han, K., Chung, Y.J., Yoon, K.H., Park, Y.G. and Lee, S.H., 2017. Association between body weight changes and menstrual irregularity: The Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010 to 2012. Endocrinology and Metabolism, 32(2), pp.248-256.